Illinois: Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill Passes State House, Governor Reverses Opposition

illiLegislation to expand Illinois’ medical cannabis program by extending it for two years and adding extra qualifying conditions has been passed by the state’s full House of Representatives. The proposal, introduced by Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie), was passed with an 86 to 27 vote.

Under the proposed law, the state’s medical cannabis pilot program – approved in 2013 – would be expanded from 2018, to 2020. In addition, both terminal illness and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would be added as conditions that legally qualify an individual to become a medical cannabis patient, allowing them to possess, use and purchase cannabis and cannabis products for medical use.

Governor Bruce Rauner, who has opposed an expansion of the state’s medical cannabis law including previously vetoing a bill to add PTSD as a qualifying condition, has reversed his position, according to the Associated Press, and now no longer opposes an expansion.

The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.

[Update, 5/31/2016: The measure has now passed the full Senate with a 50 to 7 vote; it now goes to Governor Rauner for consideration.]

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